PLAISTOW — With a sizable crowd in attendance, Planning Board members were presented with slightly revised site plans for the Sanborn's Candies lot on Route 125 Wednesday night.
The Sanborn Candies lot land owners, the children of the original owners, want to sell the nearly 20 acre lot to industrial equipment rental company ProQuip. The company plans to build a 12,000 square foot rental and maintenance facility, a 1,800 square foot wash facility, a display area, storage, and a double-walled tank for diesel fuel.
Several neighbors and Sanborn's Candies store owner Theodore Sanborn, the grandson of the original owners, are opposed to the project.
Neighbors say ProQuip's development plans to remove acres of trees will interfere with the character of their neighborhood, resulting in a loss of property value. They are also worried about possible water contamination, damage to wildlife habitats and other environmental problems resulting from the development.
Theodore Sanborn is against the project because of what it would mean for his store. He would like to keep the candy shop on the land, and perhaps give the business a facelift.
By the end of the evening, however, no decision was made about the fate of the property. ProQuip developers asked for an extension on the proposal. The Planning Board also wanted more time to review plans, consider comments from both sides and meet with the Conservation Committee on the matter.
Board member James Peck voiced concerns about water quality related to the filtration system.
Steven Keach, an independent engineer who reviewed the project, described the matter to Peck as the equivalent to making coffee.
"You've got to know what's going in before you know what's going out," he said.
Peck said he wants to be sure there are no chemicals being disposed of that people aren't aware about.
"This is our water system we're talking about," Peck said. "(It) would put my mind to rest knowing what's going into our water system."
Neighbor Luke Fitzgerald agreed with Peck, saying it's unclear what will be going into the nearby water source. He also said that he doesn't see heavy equipment traveling on Main Street meeting an overall goal to improve the environment for bikers and pedestrians.
Neighbor Douglas Meteisis brought up the damage that could be done to Main Street by ProQuip bulldozers that weigh between 50 and 100 tons.
Neighbor Richard Anthony read aloud parts of a letter written by his lawyer, Scott Hogan.
"The Planning Board's legal authority and responsibility to neighboring property owners, the public and the environment extend far beyond determining whether the minimal technical requirements are met," Anthony said, reading from Hogan's letter.
Other topics like a 6-foot high fence, the planting of trees, and lighting were also brought up by board members in the discussion.
After nearly three hours of presentations from ProQuip and several other comments from neighbors, a decision to hold another public hearing was made.